Play Records with a Laser

Play Records with a Laser

Elp Laser Turntable Lt5
The ELP Laser Turntable plays records by beaming the laser at the grooves (no needles touche the record). There are a total of five lasers: two for the left and right groove walls, two for tracking groove pitch, and one for tracking groove warp. Sounds amazing, until I saw it was $18,999. I think we’ll need to a Make version! Link.

0 thoughts on “Play Records with a Laser

  1. wsuverkropp says:

    This is a really neat idea. Many years ago a couple of Brits came up with the exact same thing, using laser to read LP’s and 45’s. They quickly discovered that the old needle added something quite valuable: it shoves tiny dirt out of the way and ‘rolls over’ other very minor disturbances. The laser, however, sees all of these things and so it plays back the signal in what one could argue is essentially lower fidelity than a needle, unless you heavily filter the signal. Heavy filtering is typically a no-no in the world of music purists. I wonder how these guys solved the problem. A simple rotating brush with a vacuum or blower tube, maybe?

  2. taricha says:

    They haven’t solved the problem as far as I know. I’ve been following these guys on audiophile websites for years and this device is a very poor implementation of this technology. People that have heard this have said that its a very low fidelity device. While it sounds like a great idea current state of the art old style vinyl playback technology beats this by a mile.

  3. smellfungus says:

    This type of player has appeared off and on since
    the 1980s. As I recall, I heard one in the mid
    eighties that had technology to read deep in the
    groove where no needle had ever touched the vinyl.
    It sold for about 2K$.

    I’m not impressed


  4. tantris says:

    This is basically miniature 3d scanning. If you can get a very fine laser line it might work with a webcam (different optics of course).

    Or use two webcams looking at the grooves at an angle. 3d mesh extraction and z-movement of the lens would be done in software.

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